Wednesday 18th March
For what else is required of us but to do justice, to love kindness,
and to walk humbly with our God?
“When we can laugh at our own foolishness,
then we will have made a start on the first wrung of the ladder of humility.
– Christopher Jamison
Humility is not about seeing ourselves as worthless,
nor seeing ourselves as wonderful.
It is simply about seeing ourselves as we are,
without judging ourselves good or bad.
Considering ourselves worthless or wonderful is foolish.
Today let’s laugh at our foolishness!
What does it mean to be humble?
There is a story about a former Bishop interviewing a young ordinand.
He reminded the young man
that one of the necessary qualities needed for ordained ministry was that of humility.
“Without humility” the Bishop told him, “you can never truly serve God.”
The young man was very moved by what the Bishop said
and asked him if he could recommend a good book on humility.
“As a matter of fact I can” said the Bishop. “Mine!”
I think we often make the mistake of equating humility with putting ourselves down.
For example, we can’t acknowledge our gifts
because to say that we are good at something is pride.
Or we can’t accept compliments gracefully, because that’s not being humble either.
This is not what humility is about.
Humility is simply seeing ourselves as we are.
Not being afraid to own our faults and inadequacies,
but neither being afraid to own our gifts and strengths.
If the Bishop in the story had not told the young ordinand of his book on humility,
it would not have been an act of humility, simply an act of foolishness.
Humility is being willing to own all aspects of who we are;
the good bits, the not so good bits.
It’s about being able to accept gracefully both praise and criticism.
And, most importantly, being able to laugh at our own foolishness.